Wednesday, May 30, 2007

B'Haalotcha: even the small things are important

Parshat B'Haalotcha

At the beginning of the parsha, Aharon is commanded as to the methodology of placing the wicks and lighting them in the menora in the mishkan. In 8:3 the passuk says, "ויעש כן אהרן" - and Aharon did so.

Rashi says on this verse, that it shows us the praiseworthiness of Aharon that he did not deviate from the instructions.

This leaves an opening for the question I have asked a number of times before - We know Aharon never deviated from instructions, especially regarding the mishkan. The passuk has told us so many times already, and Rashi points out each time that this is his praise for not deviating. So, why does Rashi have to say this, and why does the passuk need to praise Aharon for not deviating?

I think the reason might be because of the subject matter involved. The subject matter here is the menora and specifically the wicks of the menora, and their placement. One might think that maybe it is not a big deal exactly how the wicks are put in and lit. It i sa pretty mundane issue. Maybe if the kohen (Aharon in this case) finds it easier to light them in a different order, or to clean the old wicks out or place the new wicks in dofferent orders or methods, maybe he would feel it is such a mundane issue and he can do it as he sees it being most convenient.

After all, it is not like it is such a major thing. It is just the wicks!

But no - even on such a "minor" issue as the wicks of the menora, Aharon still did not deviate from the instructions Hashem had given him. That is his praise - that he totally gave himself up to doing things according to instruction and even on the small things he was "mivatel" his own da'as.

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